Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world. Archaeological excavations have revealed that humans lived here tens of thousands of years ago. Occurred in different areas of the city at different times, and many settlements were destroyed for various reasons.
Chronologically, the oldest settlement in the city is the Yerevanyan or Hrazdanyan cave, which is located near Lake Yerevanyan, on the left bank of the Hrazdan River. Its ancient archeological layer dates back to almost the 10th millennium.
During the excavations of hill “Arin Berd” in 1950, the cuneiform inscription of King Argishti I of Urartu was discovered, according to which he founded the fortress town of Erebuni in 782 BC. The inscription testifies that the king settled 6,600 soldiers from the Khati and Shupaneh countries (eastern part of the Asia Minor peninsula). In the 7th century BC, another fortress, Teishebaini, was built on the Red Hill.
The place name of Erebuni is mentioned in the Khorkhorian Chronicle near the city of Van, which dates back to the 7th century BC. It was discovered in 1828 by the archaeologist F. Schultz.
It is mentioned in the early Christian texts of the 3rd century. It is mentioned that a Manichaean community from Iran was formed here next to the Christian community. In the 7th century, the historian Sebeos testifies in the “Book of Papers” that during the Arab invasions, Yerevan was a sales profit and prosperous city. In the XII-XIII centuries, Yerevan occupied a large area, but was completely destroyed by the Seljuk Turks. In 1387, before regaining consciousness from the previous raids, it was destroyed by Tamerlane.
Yerevan’s fortune increased in 1437-1467, when it became the center of the Turkmen rule of Jahān Shāh (1437-1467), the center of the Ararat governorate. Since that time, the settlement has often been referred to as the “Capital of the Ararat Land”. In 1502, Ismail Shah, the founder of the Sefyan dynasty of Iran, took Yerevan from the Aq Qoyunlu and handed over to Revan Khan, among the eastern regions of Armenia. As the center of a large khanate, Yerevan acquired great military significance during the reign of Revan Khan.
In 1555, the Amasya store in Yerevan passed to Iran. In 1578, Turkish troops led by Mustafa Lalu (Jafer) Pasha again attacked the khanate in Yerevan. Mahmud Toqmaq Khan, hearing the news of the approach of the Turkish army, looted the city and fled, taking with him thousands of captives. In 1579, they easily occupied the defenseless settlement and took about 60 thousand captives.
Turkish Farhad Pasha recaptured Yerevan in 1582 and built a fortress on the steep left bank of Hrazdan. It became an exceptionally strong military base for the Turkish-Persian rulers. At the beginning of the XIX century, the fortress occupied an area of almost 790 m. X 850 m.
In 1603, the Persian Shah Abbas The Great besieged Yerevan for about 8-9 months, the Turkish garrison was forced to surrender. Among the Armenians captured by Abbas in 1604 were many people from Yerevan, who in 1606 founded a settlement near Nor Jugha called New Yerevan. By the treaty of 1605, the Turkish-Persian borders of 1555 were restored, and Yerevan again remained under Persian rule.
In 1606-1609, Amir Guna, the khan of Yerevan, settled many Armenians from different parts of Western Armenia in the vicinity of Yerevan. In 1638, Yerevan and the surrounding settlements were conquered and raided by the Turkish troops of Kanan Pasha, which included the detachments of the Crimean khan. Yerevan suffered greatly from the June 4, 1679 earthquake. Churches, mosques, fortresses, khans’ palaces collapsed, residential areas of the city were destroyed. The number of victims reached 7600.
Thus, for three centuries, Yerevan passed from hand to hand 14 times. The Treaty of Casre-Shirin, signed in 1639, established a 60-year peace. Yerevan was the center of Chukhur Saad beylerbeylik (province) of the Sefyan Empire, ruled at first by Sardar, and from 1747 by the khan.
In 1724, Yerevan and the inhabitants of the surrounding villages resisted the Turkish army of 70,000 for about two months and only because of the betrayal of the Persians, they were defeated, and the fortress was handed over to the Turks. About 20,000 young people died during the defense. In 1735, Nadir Shah of Iran, by prior agreement with the Turks, lifted the siege of Kars Fortress and replaced it with Yerevan.
In the second half of the 18th century, the Yerevan khanate became a taxpayer for King Erekle II of Eastern Georgia, who from time to time renounced Heraclius and carried out three punitive raids (1765, 1769, 1779). Recently, he destroyed the provinces of the khanate in Yerevan, besieged the city for 3 months, and deported many residents of the khanate to Georgia. Those who were displaced from Yerevan were settled in the Havlabar district of Tbilissi.
During the Russo-Persian war of 1804-1813, the first invasion of Yerevan by Russian troops led by General Pavel Tsitsianov was launched. On July 2, 1804, Russian troops occupied the town. On July 24, they besieged the fortress, but were soon forced to return to Tbilissi (Georgia).The invasion of Yerevan in September 1808, led by General Ivan Gudovich, also failed.
During the Russo-Persian War, which began in 1826, a third invasion of Yerevan was launched, led by General Ivan Paskevich. On October 1, 1827, General Afanasy Krasovsky’s troops, with the support of Armenian volunteers, captured the fortress..
According to the agreement signed on February 10, 1828, the khanates of Yerevan and Nakhijevan passed to Russia. Yerevan became the center of the Armenian region. With the abolition of the Armenian region in 1840,Yerevan was included in the Georgian-Imereti i governorate. In 1849, the governorate was formed with Yerevan as its center.
The peace established after the Russian-Persian war stimulates the economic development of Yerevan. In 1864 a telegraphic connection was established, and a permanent postal connection was established, in 1866 a diligent procession was established. The first city charter came into force on October 1, 1879. The city “duma” , the administration and other bodies of autonomy start functioning. Hovhannes Ghorganyan (1879-84) was elected the first mayor. After the implementation of the peasant reform in Armenia (1870), preconditions were created for the creation of capitalist production in Yerevan as well.
In 1885 N. Tairov (Tairyan) founded the first wine and vodka factory in Yerevan. In 1887, the first brandy production was organized next that factory. In 1899, a large Russian entrepreneur N. Shustov bought the Tairov’s wine-brandy factory and expanded it several times in a short period of time. At the beginning of the XX century there were 5 factories of brandy, vodka, alcohol and wine in Yerevan. In 1896, there were a total of 129 factories in Yerevan.
The construction of the Alexandropol – Yerevan railway (1899-1909), the improvement of the Yerevan-Aghstafa, Yerevan-Julfa and Yerevan-Igdir highways were of essential importance in the economic life of Yerevan. At the beginning of the 20th century, in addition to horse-drawn carriages, there were horse-drawn trams in Yerevan, for the construction of which a 4-meter-long line was created (1906).
Two HPPs were built in 1907, the lighting of the city began. In 1911, with the help of the rich people of the city, the Yerevan water pipeline was built, which began to supply drinking water to the city. Telephone network has been operating since 1913.
Many Armenian citizens also took part in the First World War, who fought with the detachments in the Russian army to liberate Armenia from the Turkish yoke. Many emigrants who survived the 1915 Genocide took refuge in Yerevan.
After capturing Alexandrapol in the spring of 1918, part of the Turkish army moved to Yerevan. Contrary to the decision of the City Duma to hand over the city without resistance, the population of the surrounding villages of Yerevan (Kanaker, Avan, Arinj), led by Aram Manukyan, took part in the defense of the city.
In July 1918, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, proclaimed on May 28 in Tbilissi (Georgia), moved to Yerevan. It has become the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
In 1920-91, Yerevan was the capital of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1922, the population of Yerevan was 46,662, of which 40,396 were Armenians, 5,124 were Turkic-speaking Muslims, and 1,122 were representatives of other nationalities. Yerevan was the first city in the Soviet Union to have a General plan. Its author is Academician Alexander Tamanyan. The General Plan was approved in 1924 and is designed for 150,000 inhabitants.
During the Soviet years, the administrative area of the city increased by 5 times. Construction began – Yerevan was built from basalt, granite, marble. The most common building material was pink tuff. And since this building material gave the city an original color and a special tone, Yerevan began to be called the “Pink City”.
Under Soviet rule, Yerevan was governed by the City Council of People’s Deputies. After the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) new industrial enterprises were opened, general education, higher and professional educational institutions, scientific institutions, libraries, cinemas, publishing houses, churches, other cultural centers, a wide radio and television network was created. In 1951, the master plan for Greater Yerevan was approved. It has become one of the major industrial centers in Central Asia.
On September 21, 1991 Yerevan became the capital not only of the independent Republic of Armenia, but of all Armenians in the world.